Florida A&M cut 48 staffers in its bid to restructure the university. Another 109, stimulus-dollars-paid workers will lose their jobs in the coming weeks as FAMU responds to sweeping budget cuts throughout the state and the loss of federal stimulus money.
The 48 workers, which included 24 University Support Personnel Services and another 24 Administrative and Professional workers, were notified Tuesday of being placed on “administrative leave with pay” pending their termination on June 30. Fifty-two vacant positions will also be eliminated.
FAMU President James Ammons said that his staff has worked for years to cut costs by “eliminating vacant and temporary positions, cutting expenses and reducing utility costs,” explaining that the loss of funding was too great this time to not part with workers. FAMU faces more than $16 million in cuts for the upcoming year.
“Dealing with dwindling budgets during these tough economic times has not been easy,” President Ammons was quoted as saying in a university-issued press statement Thursday. “In fact, today is one of the toughest days of my administrative career. I know many of these employees personally and they have contributed greatly to the success of FAMU.”
FAMU is losing $8 million dollars in state sponsorship and another $8.4 million from stimulus dollars that had paid for several workers.
FAMU’s Board of Trustees in April approved Ammon’s restructuring plan – “Excellence in a new era: developing the millenial FAMUan” – amid mixed feelings of anger and indifference from the student population. Many students questioned FAMU’s position. Most didn’t seem to care. The restructuring plan involves cutting programs and merging others in a bid to make the university more efficient and secure its functioning in the years ahead.
Other universities across the state face budget cuts and staff reductions amid tighter budgets.